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Ask Dominick Your Own Question
Dominick, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1009
Experience:  25 Years Experience as Mechanic, 20 Yrs Boat Yard Owner/Mechanic, Factory Certified
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Trim unit has milky oil how do I replace it? J1171, The trim

Customer Question

Trim unit has milky oil how do I replace it? J1171
JA: Huh?
Customer: The trim unit on my boat looks to have gotten water in it.
JA: Sometimes boat issues seem like they'll be really complicated, but end up being easy to fix. The Marine Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so the Marine Mechanic can help you best.
Customer: The trim unit isn't working properly on my outboard
JA: Is there anything else the Marine Mechanic should be aware of?
Customer: The oil on the dipstick looks milky
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Marine Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is Tan.

Could I get the make, model and serial number of your engine please.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's a Mercury outboard 115 Tower of power. 1987
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Is the trim pump in the boat or on the engine? You are right in the model year it changed from inside boat to engine?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It a pontoon boat unit sitting on outside in back
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unit is stuck up now, yesterday in the water I had to have someone run trim will I pulled down
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Does the trim motor run? In either direction?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It went up and you can hear it run
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Ok since the oil is milky we need to change the oil this may make it work correctly. Remove the pump from bracket and turn pump upside down draining the oil. Drain as much out as possible. Then fill up. Disconnect one of the oil lines and run as much oil out as you can. Then refill with oil again. Continue this process till oil become clear again. Then reconnect the oil line and see if the trim will function correctly. Use 30 weight motor oil.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok will do thank you. Can I ask another question?
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I seem to have a problem with the motor stalling while I am attempting to put it on the trailer. Motor will run good in the driveway but when I am water at times will be idling and when shifting into gear will stall. I have sprayed carb cleaner in the carburetors and like I said seems to run good in driveway but when put on load will stall do I need to adjust the idle? Just bought a pontoon and I'm having issues.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

What happens is the water is so high on the back of the motor it will suffocate the motor due to be so deep in the water. Try tilting the motor up so it sits higher in the water.

Is it ok once the boat is in the water?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where I have the most problems is when I'm trying to get it on the trailer won't stay running continually dies when I shifting into gear.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Yes you have to tilt the engine up so it isn't drowning out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wow ok is that something with two-stroke motors? I've always only had inboards.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Yes 2 strokes are bad about back pressure in the exhaust. This cause the engine to die from not good exhaust air flow. It's like blocking the exhaust pipe on your car. It will die from to much exhaust back pressure. Tilting the engine relieves the back pressure letting engine idle better.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would make water get in the oil of the trim unit? I will give it a try of course I have to fix the trim first. thank you again
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

The hydraulic system is a sealed system. The only way water can get in the oil is through the reservoir. If the rams were leaking it would be leaking fluid around the rams. The only other way is through a bad trim line there again it would be leaking out there also. So the only real place is from the reservoir. The dipstick has an o-ring is it in good condition? Was the dipstick in the reservoir tight?

I don't see an o-ring on the dip stick this will allow water in the reservoir.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was tight. The oil I drained out looks like coffe with a lot of creamer.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Yeah the o-ring on the dipstick is missing. Who knows how long.

It's going to take quite a bit of oil to get it cleaned out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just took the flat head screw one of the actuators and it blew oil all over me
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Yes it will as there is weight on the rams.